Public transportation (PT) systems suffer from disutility compared to private transportation due to the inability to provide passengers with a door-to-door service, referred to as the first/last mile problem. Personal mobility devices (PMDs) are thought to improve PT service quality by closing this first/last mile gap. However, current PMDs are generally driven manually by the rider and require a learning phase for safe vehicle operation. Additionally, most PMDs require a standing riding position and are not easily accessible to elderly people or persons with disabilities. In this paper, the concept of an autonomously operating mobility device is introduced. The visionary concept is designed as an on-demand transportation service which transports people for short to medium distances and increases the accessibility to public transport. The device is envisioned to be operated as a larger fleet and does not belong to an individual person. The vehicle features an electric powertrain and a one-axle self-balancing design with a small footprint. It provides one seat for a passenger and a tilt mechanism that is designed to improve the ride comfort and safety at horizontal curves. An affordable 3D-camera system is used for autonomous localization and navigation. For the evaluation and demonstration of the concept, a functional prototype is implemented.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/wevj9040048 under the license cc-by
https://doaj.org/toc/2032-6653 under the license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
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Published on 01/01/2018

Volume 2018, 2018
DOI: 10.3390/wevj9040048
Licence: Other

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